Massachusetts is famous for its schools. Harvard, Boston University, and Northeastern all hold stellar reputations and turn out graduates that are considered the best in their respective fields. If you are thinking of studying law in Massachusetts, there is a wealth of options at prestigious institutions. Before you start preparing applications, it is wise to consider what you are looking for in a legal education to narrow your choices.
When deciding which Massachusetts law school is right for you, there are a number of important preliminary considerations. One is the type of law you intend to practice and the environment you hope to practice in.
Harvard is an incredibly prestigious institution, and its graduates often go on to become educators themselves. The influence of the institution and its graduates also provides unique opportunities for those interested in careers in government.
On the other hand, admission to Harvard is very difficult, and the tuition is much higher than at smaller or less-recognized law schools. If you intend to start your own law firm or work in the nonprofit sector, you may be better off attending UMass Dartmouth or the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover, which cost half to a third of the price compared to Harvard.
Another tradeoff worth considering involves the location of the law school. Boston offers many cultural and business opportunities to students and graduates. Most of the big firms are located in Beantown, along with the Red Sox, world-class museums, historical sites, centers for performing arts, and more. Attending law school in Boston can create opportunities, though it also tends to come with high living costs.
Massachusetts is also home to a few law schools that are not accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Unaccredited schools have their advantages, namely lower tuition, but they also have some drawbacks.
How Can I Find a Massachusetts Law School?
Several Massachusetts law schools are listed within the U.S. News & World Report listings for the top law schools in the country. However, these aren't your only options. The chart below offers links to many of Massachusetts's prominent law schools as well as their yearly tuition (for full-time students) and areas of focus. Keeping in mind your goals for your legal education and career, peruse these resources to get a better sense of your options:
|Boston College Law School||Boston||
|Boston University School of Law||Boston||
|Harvard University Law School||Cambridge||
|Massachusetts School of Law||Andover||
|New England School of Law||Boston||
|Northeastern University School of Law||Boston||
|Suffolk University Law School||Boston||
|Western New England University School of Law||Springfield||
Taking Your Next Steps
Choosing a law school is only one step in the process of acquiring an education in the law and entering into practice. Along the way, there will be many important decisions to make. FindLaw for Law Students provides advice on choosing a law school, studying for classes and the bar, and getting your first job from people who have been through the process.